Hospital Chiefs: Malloy Budget Would Mean Layoffs

by Categorized: Health Care, Jobs, Public finance Date:

Connecticut’s hospital chief executives have come out fighting against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposed budget, warning of layoffs and other dire consequences if the state’s payments and reimbursements don’t keep up with added needs.

The hospital heads, in an open letter to lawmakers, said the Malloy budget over the next two years, starting July 1, would cut hospital spending by $550 million. The letter was signed by the CEOs of 25 of Connecticut’s 30 acute care hospitals. They linked to a web site that shows the cuts each hospital would sustain.

“People who work at hospitals will lose their jobs, and so will people in the community who rely on hospitals for their incomes.  Connecticut needs more jobs, not the gutting of a sector that employs more than 54,000 people and generates 110,000 jobs across the state,” the CEOs said in the letter, issued by the Connecticut Hospital Association.

Saint Francis Care CEO Christopher Dadlez at WNPR studios Friday. Chion Wolf Photo

Saint Francis Care CEO Christopher Dadlez at WNPR studios Friday. Chion Wolf Photo

Malloy’s budget, however, shows flat funding for hospitals, not a decline: $1.72 billion in the coming year and $1.77 billion in the following year, compared with $1.75 billion this year.  Most of the spending is Medicaid reimbursement, and the standoff is over how much it will need to increase to keep up with what hospitals now do for patients.

The proposed plan does reflect a decline in state reimbursement for care the hospitals give, free of charge, to people who don’t have medical insurance.  That’s because uncompensated care is expected to decline starting in 2014, as federal health care reforms require everyone to have coverage. The state, in fact, has already seen some savings as the state opened up Medicaid coverage to more people.

Broadly, hospital finances are a matter of hot debate, as critics — notably journalist Steven Brill, who documented what he called a skewed hospital payment system in a lengthy report in Time Magazine last month — say the institutions systematically overcharge some patients, and are profiting by gaining the upper hand in negotiations with insurers.  I was on WNPR’s “Where We Live” radio show Friday morning with Brill, host John Dankosky, state health care advocate Victoria Veltri and Christopher Dadlez, CEO of Saint Francis Care in Hartford.

Dadlez defended hospitals’ financial practices,  saying they are not running up excessive surpluses, and profits they do make are put back into community care. He said part of the issue is low reimbursement for Medicaid, the state and federal program for the poor, which he said would fall further under Malloy’s budget plan.

Dadlez warned of layoffs if Malloy’s cuts were to happen, in comments after the show, but he did not give estimates.


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18 thoughts on “Hospital Chiefs: Malloy Budget Would Mean Layoffs

    1. one little

      And if it were YOU receiving these salaries and perks you would vovlunteer to give them up? Yeah, right.

  1. Bob Smith

    Maybe these CEO’s should cut their 7 figure salaries and maybe less employees would get laid off. Don’t think for a minute that is on the table not to mention the fringe benefits they receive. Start with Bridgeport hospital which is now run like a prison thanks to Bill Jennings. This is the type of environment that Unions were made for. I hope the employees of this institution pull a rabbit out their hat and procure enough signatures to unionize. I am sure Bill will send out some letter stating lie and lie about the unions. I am surprised the Doc’s are putting up with this tyrant these days.

  2. p hofmann

    but let’s keep spending money on things like the busway instead of things that people need. this man has no clue about what people really need.

  3. civit

    Creating more unions aren’t the answer. Don’t build a useless buseline or spend 70 million to move Uconn to downtown Hartford. Simply cut the waste, fraud and abuse in this state. Also, stop voting DEMOCRAT!!!

  4. America Is Dying

    Why are hospitals spending money on TV commercials? There is no reason for TV commercials.

  5. ordinaryjoe

    The first step should be reducing the bloated hospital CEO/CFO salaries and benefits. The second step should be reducing the bloated hospital “administrative” ranks.

  6. Ann Theresa

    why not triage at the ER and send non-emergencies to a community health center…dah!

  7. jason

    “free of charge” for uninsured yeah right
    they sell you to a collection agency. were they also getting reimbursed by the state as well ?
    boo hoo hoo the ceo can give up some of their precious avarice and take a paycut before laying off people.
    Ceo salaries are the only people who can afford the cost of healthcare and I am sure they weasel their way out of that as well.

  8. sue

    Maybe these loser CEOS should stop advertising and sending out junk mail. Do you care. I can only go to the Hospitals in my Network.

    1. you are clueless

      A self proclaimed winner (mentally challenged dingbat) calling CEO’s losers -Priceless.

  9. Jeff

    Is it criminal that “our” “NON-PROFIT” are so profitable? It allows them to be able to buy up hundreds of private MD practices (how many millions of dollars did that cost?) to effectively become a monopoly bargaining group (remember, unionization for doctors is illegal) with the insurers, driving up reimbursements, doing an end run around anti-trust laws and driving up healthcare premiums. They are spending many millions of dollars on radio, TV, giant newspaper and internet advertising. How many patients depend on their local hospital when an emergency occurs? I can just hear the patient in the ambulance say, “No…take me here where they have the most modern blah, blah blah.” No way. It is a waste.

    Remember when hospitals were resources for the doctors? Now they are money machines, charging unbelievable fees when they know they will only collect 15-20% from insurance companies. What about the poor shlub who comes in with no insurance? He has to go bankrupt to pay the hospital the fees that the hospital never would have intended to collect if he were an insurance patient. Remember when having insurance meant that the doctor accepted 20% less for the service? Now the hospital charges 800% more than they expect to be paid. Is that called “breaking even”? The system is just plain broken. If a hospital can afford millions of dollars for advertising and expansion of its in-house doctor base (although they still work out of their old offices just like before), why does it need fund drives and donations and volunteers?

    We all have to tighten our budgets. So should they. Best of all, if the low hanging, poorly managed hospitals go out of business, perhaps a group can reopen them as the much feared and maligned (by the other hospitals) PUBLIC OPTION. That would put some competition back into the health care sector… and perhaps some sanity back into healthcare.

    1. Liberalism is a Mental Disorder

      Yeah Jeff, competing with the Federal Gubamint is real competition.

      1. Jeff

        When the Gubamint has to stick to its Medicare reimbursement schedule and ONLY its Medicare reimbursement schedule with no hefty additional payment from the patient, then YES, seniors will avoid hospitals that don’t honor those rates and everyone else will have a choice to know what the actual fee is before going to the hospital OR allow the other hospitals to charge up to 800% (I’m not kidding) more than the Medicare allowed charge.

        Yes, that’s competition and that’s what the hospitals are afraid of.

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